Injured Seafarer Dies on Board off South Africa Coast

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(Image Courtesy: Ship Spotting)

A critically injured crewman died on board the bulk carrier MV Grand Amanda off South Africa on October 19. The crewman suffered injuries and fractures to both legs and both thighs on board the Panamax ship, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) East London station commander, Geoff McGregor said. He added that when the NSRI was alerted by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), the vessel was around 189 nautical miles off-shore of the East Coast and re-routing towards East London in the afternoon hours of October 18.

The seafarer received medical attention onboard, but unfavorable sea conditions and the distance ruled out a helicopter patient evacuation and the ship was diverted towards the nearest port. While efforts were underway to arrange the evacuation the following morning, the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) pilot boat transported rescue paramedics to the vessel once it was closer to the Port of East London. However, extremely rough seas and strong winds prevented paramedics from boarding the ship.

NSRI Durban, NSRI Port Elizabeth, NSRI ASR, the TNPA Port Helicopter and both the SA Air Force (SAAF) 15 Squadron and 15 Squadron Charlie Flight remained on alert throughout the night, expecting that the sea conditions would subside and allow for a helicopter rescue effort, NSRI said. A medical kit was transferred aboard the vessel during the night and NSRI East London was ready to attempt to board the ship at around 5 am on October 19. However, prior to the launch, it was confirmed that the patient succumbed to his injuries.

Sea News, October 20